So much good news to share tonight - I don't even know where to start!!
How about with Miss Sara. Today marked one whole year that she's been with our family. Not to sound corny, but it really feels like she's been a part of our family from the start. The year - which was FILLED with highs and lows and miracles and milestones - really flew by. We love Sara, as you must know by now. And we are so grateful she has been here (and stayed here!!) through the good and the bad! Gavin and Brian LOVE Miss Sara. When we talk about our family, Brian adds her like she's an official Leong! And Gavin - I know for a fact that much of his progress this year is due to her. She is so good with him - has been from the very first day. We really won the lottery last year - and we know it.
To celebrate her one year anniversary - I bought her a couple presents and the boys made cards for her.
And then Sara presented US with an totally unexpected, completely outrageous and absolutely unnecessary gift. "Twelve Months of Dates"
A box filled with gift cards for different restaurants and the movies - and free babysitting for every outing. Even an overnighter!!
We were completely overwhelmed.
She brought Christmas presents for the boys as well - and even some from her wonderful parents! Her parents gave the boys the most clever Crayola themed gift! Four passes to the factory, spending money for the store (seriously - they are overwhelmingly generous), crayons and crayola magnets... it was such a fun gift!
Granny was here, too, and opened our little presents. She'll be spending Christmas with my sister and her family so we had her open her gift early.
The last few days have been filled with all kinds of celebrations. (Be sure to keep reading for the BIGGEST celebration of all!)
Yesterday, Brian had Pajama day at school.
He wore his Christmas pj's and really got a kick out of seeing his teacher, Miss Laura, in her robe and slippers! The whole class watched The Muppet Movie in the school auditorium and Brian said it was so much fun! He loved giving his teachers and Miss Maggie their Christmas gifts, too.
On the way out of school, you wouldn't believe who we saw coming in! SANTA!!! Brian froze at first - and then walked right up to say hi. And then he turned around and said "eeeee" for a picture. He is very well trained.
Today was Gavin's holiday party and everyone was invited! Daddy left work to make it...
Granny came over to go with us...
and Sara stayed late so she could come along, too!
Brian couldn't wait to play in Gavin's classroom - especially when he heard there would be snacks. And I could tell that Gavin was SO excited that all of us were there. He was quite the show off!!
It was great to see Gavin's therapists and teacher and introduce them to Ed and my Mom. I really love Gavin's team. Miss Erika is his Occupational Therapist. I'm sure you can tell by the photo that they have a mutual affection for each other.
Miss Whitney is his speech therapist! She has so much energy and I'm so pleased with what she is getting out of Gavin in school! She has the hard task of working on feeding - the biggest challenge of all.
Whitney will take over some of Miss Maggie's case load (Maggie is Gavin's old speech therapist and Brian's current speech therapist - follow that?) when she goes on maternity leave. There is a possibility that Whitney will get Brian for speech! How cool would that be?
And of course there is Miss Megan - Gavin's wonderful teacher. She is such a sweet and loving person - it's so obvious that she has found her calling in teaching. The classroom is such a happy place and Gavin is doing so well. We really are so grateful to have been assigned to Megan. Her supervisor happened to pop in today - not knowing that there was a holiday party. Boy, was I happy to give her an earful about how we felt about Gavin's classroom and his amazing teacher.
Gavin has Sara as his personal classroom aide, but there are also two other aides in the room - Jen and Tracy. (Dang it - I should have taken Gavin's picture with them too!) They are so sweet with all the kids and went out of their way today with Brian, too! There were play stations set up, including a Gingerbread Man station. Jen made the Gingerbread Men and helped Brian decorate them with icing and marshmallows and gum drops. And Tracy played in the pretend snow with Brian for quite some time. Honestly, I couldn't ask for a nicer classroom for our sweet son.
The only person missing from the party was Miss Wendy, Gavin's physical therapist. But she is 100% forgiven after I was given the best Christmas present ever this afternoon. During her session with Gavin, she worked on his walking. Gavin is obsessed with water - especially the sink in the classroom - so she used that as a motivator. Sara said that he took a few steps on his own - holding onto nothing or no one - so she ran to get her phone to take a video. And then...
And then it happened over... and over... and over.
Great news like ALL of the above is usually balanced out with bad news in the Leong house. It's what keeps us humble. We ended today with an accident. We were in the house all of five minutes - unpacking from Gavin's class party - when all of a sudden he was crying and clearly hurt. I quickly figured out he had hurt his hand - and then figured out that his finger was swollen and floppy and red. We think he pulled himself up to stand using the back of the kitchen chair which is all spindles. When he went to get down to crawl away, his finger must have gotten caught in between the spindles and twisted.
So... on her one year anniversary, Sara looked at me and said "I can stay." I packed Gavin up - left Sara and Brian and Ed, who was going to a work party - and headed to the emergency room. As you can see, Gavin was no worse for wear...
We were fast tracked in and brought right to X-Ray and were home in time for dinner. Turns out it's likely just a sprain and it didn't even need to be taped or splinted. Thank God. But just to keep me really humble, Brian broke out in a random case of hives at bedtime.
It's never dull around here! Which is why I'm even MORE grateful (and sometimes surprised!) that Sara has stuck around this long!!
Thank you, as always, for loving our family like you do. Gavin, especially. With the amount of positive energy, prayers and encouragement you send his way - you can all take some credit for how well he's doing!